Rating: 4/5

Genre: Fantasy, adult

First Published: 2016

Author: V. E. Schwab

Previous Book in the Series: A Darker Shade of Magic

Synopsis: It's been four months since Kell and Lila saved the Londons from the shadow stone. Four months since Lila left Red London without looking back. Four months since Rhy and Kell were irreversibly bound. They've had four months to deal with the aftermath of what they did. Now, Red London is preparing for the Element Games where the best magicians from each country fight until there is only one victor. And the Night Spire, the ship Lila had lived on for the past four months, captained by Alucard Emery is returning to London for the competition, which brings Lila and Kell together again. Meanwhile, the other Londons are stirring. 

Book Depository | Goodreads


The first thing to note about this book is that it was very character-centric. Not much happened, to speak of which is why I only gave it 4 stars. It was more of a brewing of events sort of thing. A gathering of storm clouds - of shadows, if you will. The title is really quite fitting. So be warned of that, going into the book and don't be deceived by the beginning. It starts off by plunging straight into what seems an epic pirate adventure, and while it is somewhat of a pirate adventure, it's not really where the book is headed. 

Having said that, I still really loved the book. It was pretty long and slow paced, but we got to know the characters better and we were introduced to new ones. And it was done in such a way that really felt like heavy storm clouds were gathering and it's the calm right before the storm unleashes. And the ending was like that first thunder an instant before the deluge begins. 

We got to see some more of Lila's daredevilness and Kell really grew into a badass. I can't wait to see him unleashed in the next one. Just thinking about the two of them together... boy, oh boy, they're going to rock all the Londons in all the worlds from their foundations. They are such an awesome couple and if they don't end up together at the end, I will throw a fit. There is also Alucard. I really loved his character and I'm curious to find out more about him. Let me just say, that this book answered a couple of questions and raised a hundred more. I really wish I could get my hands on book number three right now. 

The Element Games are like a sort of Triwizard tournament for the three great empires. I really enjoyed that aspect of the story, although the Games themselves only started in the last third of the book. But they offered a good opportunity to learn more about the world and the other nations and more about magic. 

Overall, I really did enjoy the book, despite the lack of major events in it. I loved learning more about the world and the characters and I can't say I was bored reading it. With the way it ended, I think I'm probably safe to say the next one is going to be a riot of a book.

Have you read it? Were you bothered by the lack of action?

Published by Romana Pop